C.b. West Wins 1st Game Easily Without Pettine Titusville, Fla., Was The 34-6 Victim For Coach Mike Carey. "I Feel Like There's A Thousand Pounds Lifted Off My Shoulders," He Said.

Posted: September 02, 2000

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Central Bucks West football coach Mike Carey had no recollection of the smile, but he could not deny it either.

With only seconds remaining in last night's 34-6 victory over Titusville, Fla., the clock was stopped with the Terriers on C.B. West's 2-yard line. It seemed funny to Carey at the time, because Titusville had no time-outs left and had been stopped on a running play. Time should have expired, and the Bucks should have been on the field celebrating their 46th consecutive victory.

Instead, Carey watched the Terriers get one more play and another shot at the end zone.

Touchdown.

The Bucks lost their shutout, but it hardly mattered to Carey, who made his head-coaching debut at Walt Disney's Wide World of Sports complex. He knew his team had the game in hand much earlier.

Hence the smile.

"If I smiled, I guess I let my guard down," he said. "I thought it was kind of bogus. Why did they stop the clock? I can live with it. What was the score? 34-6? I'll take that."

Carey just wanted the game to end. Ever since Mike Pettine retired and Carey replaced him, he had been thinking about this season opener. In fact, he could barely sleep the previous two nights.

"I'm happy in a lot of respects," Carey said. "This game has been on my mind for five months. . . . I feel like there's a thousand pounds lifted off my shoulders. Unless you're in my shoes, it's tough to experience it. It was my first game. I chose this game, and logistically it was a nightmare. The players were looking to me in some respects, not knowing how I'm going to react as a head coach."

The PIAA Class AAAA state champions reacted rather well, although the coach and his players said they were disappointed afterward.

The Bucks recovered a Terriers fumble on the third play from scrimmage in the first quarter and marched down the field for a 2-yard touchdown by senior running back Phil DiGiacomo.

DiGiacomo scored three touchdowns and senior quarterback Mike Orihel threw for two more. The Bucks had little difficulty scoring on the Terriers.

It was a textbook example of power football. The Terriers (0-1) knew it.

"They were the hardest-hitting team I've ever played against," Terriers linebacker Ronnell Sandy said. "They put some serious bruises on me."

The Bucks pretty much ran the ball at will. The only thing stopping them was penalties. The Bucks were called for several penalties in the first half, including five in a row while time expired before halftime.

"We're not happy. We played really bad," DiGiacomo said. "The only thing that was good was our defense, I guess. We have so many weapons on offense, and we just didn't play well at all."

Did the coach say that, or do the players really believe it?

"No, we can tell," DiGiacomo said.

But they played well enough - the defense held the Terriers to 8 yards in the first half - that Carey will let his team enjoy the rest of the stay in Orlando. Today they will hit the theme parks.

Carey could use some relaxation, too.

"There was a tremendous amount of emotions here," he said. "I knew a lot of people were coming down. I don't care if we were playing a midget football team, I wanted to get that first win. I have a different perspective right now. I've been extremely hard on them in camp. I promised them these next two days. They don't have to hear from me or look at me for two days. When they heard that, they let out a big cheer."

Central Bucks West147130-34

Titusville0006-6

CBW: Phil DiGiacomo 2 run (Andy Bross kick)

CBW: DiGiacomo 4 run (Bross kick)

CBW: Bob Warden 16 pass from Mike Orihel (Bross kick)

CBW: DiGiacomo 5 run (Bross kick)

CBW: Fran Golden 6 pass from Orihel (kick failed)

T: Keaton Mayes 2 run (PAT not attempted)

Todd Zolecki's e-mail address is tzolecki@phillynews.com

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